Author Topic: meditation after taking Ambien  (Read 6102 times)


meditation after taking Ambien
« on: January 26, 2012, 07:02:22 AM »
I like to do meditations like the classical four stages breathing meditations for developing concentration and stilling the mind. That kind of meditation is very calming but makes me feel awake and aware. I also like to meditate on impermanence and interdependence.  I've had to learn how to meditate on my own because there are no teachers in my area.

I have also been a chronic insomniac for many years and have been taking Ambien nearly every night for the past three years.  I've heard people say that you shouldn't meditate while under the influence of sedating drugs, but it often takes me a long time fall asleep even after taking a pill.  It there a type of meditation that is okay to do after taking a sleeping pill that won't practice and reinforce mental stupor but will help me be more ready to sleep?

(I know some will suggest quitting Ambien.  I hope to quit eventually, but it is not realistic in the short term.)



  • Moderator
  • Member
    • Advaita & U Ba Khin's tradition
Re: meditation after taking Ambien
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2012, 09:02:50 AM »
Alan, I am not familiar with Ambien, but my question is, is it necessary that you MUST meditate after taking medication? Why not meditate and then take the pill? Or, what about doing meditation in the mornings? If there is no chance that you would quit using the drug, then may be try adjusting your routines?
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?


Re: meditation after taking Ambien
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2012, 06:05:53 PM »
As someone who has also been on Ambien for... wow, 10 years... there isn't anything about the experience I find conducive to meditating. When I take it and don't go to sleep, it's extremely disorienting and often comes with mild hallucinations. Ambien is INFAMOUS for causing people to make bad decisions. Just look up the "ambien walrus" cartoons on Google (pretty funny actually). I have found my girlfriend cutting her bangs in the mirror at 3am on ambien, I've woken up to ridiculous charges on my credit card the next day, I've said things to people SO many times that I regretted and had to apologize for the next day nearly ruining at least two friendships in the past. Like i said... 10 years.

To me it's the equivalent of getting blotto drunk and then attending to your practice, and I would think that ultimately you'd be training your mind to associate meditation with falling asleep (probably not what you want).


  • Member
    • friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.
    • Letting Go.
Re: meditation after taking Ambien
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2012, 06:48:04 AM »
Alot is made of the 'altered state' in meditation circles, not much on the 'just do it' sit and relax, accept things that come up angle. so it is natural to feel that a medication or such that is altering your awareness is helping or hindering meditation, but I would suggest it is doing neither. Fact is, we are always in various 'altered states' -sleep being just one example; we have just become very good at managing and conforming to them or not (!).

Well, I suppose maybe not in this case, given the need to take sleeping aids.

being aware of the state of our consciousness without trying to change it is next to impossible, but well worth holding as an ideal - we can't not want change sometimes, but how effective that is depends on letting that all go. It is sorta like being in the eye of a hurricane, there is a central space that awareness can rest in, but it means letting go of alot of fears, and habits that constitute 'you'- it is easy to say, not so easy to do.

There are threads on the forum about meditation increasing insomnia, so from that angle I would be careful. Learning to relax our fear based personality is what it is all about really, so I would sit at the start of the day to avoid any increase of sleeplessness... or even not sit at all until you have a clear mindfulness during the day.

I can only assume that meditation carries some hope of a cure for your insomnia in your case, but I would suggest that this is not what it is primarily for. It can/will make changes in you, but I would suggest not doing the practice side, without knowing what is and isn't to be expected.


« Last Edit: January 27, 2012, 07:08:42 AM by Andrew »
getting it done


Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
11 Replies
Last post October 22, 2007, 08:18:17 PM
by Flipasso
9 Replies
Last post July 31, 2010, 11:10:02 AM
by Matthew
4 Replies
Last post January 01, 2020, 12:38:17 PM
by stillpointdancer
5 Replies
Last post January 30, 2014, 01:23:10 AM
by Pacific Flow
14 Replies
Last post December 17, 2016, 08:59:25 PM
by TheJourney
17 Replies
Last post November 06, 2019, 11:10:36 AM
by stillpointdancer
3 Replies
Last post February 08, 2021, 03:18:49 PM
by Matthew